How to/Not Answer ‘Tell Me About Yourself’

  • Who You Are – Your first sentence should be an introduction to who you are professionally, a statement that shows your strengths and gives a little sense of your personality too. This is not easy to just pull it off but it helps to prepare in advance.
  • Expertise Highlights – Don’t assume that the interviewer has closely read your resume and knows your qualifications. Briefly highlight 2-4 point that you think makes you stand out.
  • Why are you Here – End by telling them you want the position and a good reason why, do not show how desperate you are for the job.

Remember: Don’t try to squeeze in too much information, too much information can be a turn off. You will have time later to walk through your resume in more detail and fill in any gaps.

How not to answer ‘Tell Me About Yourself’

  • The Resume Rehash – reciting you resume from start to finish is the worst way to go about it. This will turn to a monologue – instead, give the good stuff to the interviewer but being cautious of too much self-praise.
  • /Ms. Modesty – Be yourself, being too humble or vague will lead to communication breakdown. Be confident and give straight and direct answers.
  • The First Date Approach – the interviewer does not want to hear your likes, dislikes or hobbies, this is not a social meeting. Give professional strengths and weaknesses and how you are tackling the weaknesses.
  • The Clueless Ramble – Avoid over thinking because this will lead to giving jumbled up answers, this will be hard for the interviewer to follow. You might be a smart candidate for the job but this vice can cause you a great opportunity.

A good interview is a dialogue, not a monologue. Keep it concise and give your interviewer the chance to dive in and ask questions.